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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Natchez Court Records 1767-1805: Horse Trading



This case surprised and pleased me greatly.  I really didn't think slaves would be given any consideration, whatsoever, but this case clearly shows that much consideration was given to a sense of fairness to this one, a woman, to boot.

p. 356.  Negress Amy versus the heirs of Asahel Lewis.

Petitioner represents that her former master gave her, in recompense of her service one horse which she has in her possession but finding that the heirs of her sd master intend to deprive her of the said horse, begs that Mr. William Collins and Mr. Abner Phipps give their declaration before Mr. Ezekiel Forman, Esq. of what they know of the right to the said horse, to the end that title to the horse may be confirmed.


She signed with a mark.  April 23, 1794.

Ezekiel Forman will take declaration on same.

Owing to the illness of Mr. Forman, this is transferred before G. Benoist, Esq.

This is to certify that I went to trade with Mr. Lewis for his black horse but he said I must apply to Amy for him for he had given her the said horse.


Sig:  Wm. Collins.  Pine Ridge, 24, Apr. 1794.  Before me, Gabriel Benoist.


Personally appeared Abner Pipes, Jr. who, on oath, declared that he once heard the late Asahel Lewis, speaking to the negro woman, Amy, refer to the black horse as hers.  Signed.

Natchez History - The Wild, Wild South

(Fort Rosalie)

A couple of years ago I ran across a book on Ebay:  The Natchez Court Records 1767-1805 by May Wilson McBee.  Since most of my readers are from Natchez, I thought you'd enjoy a sampling of the people's lives in the earliest part of our history.  I'll be posting them occassionally as the notion strikes me, so be on the lookout.

p. 108.  A letter from Don Manuel de Texada.


Sir:  I have to inform you that last night at twelve o'clock, Armstrong and five white men, well-armed, invested my house, robbed me of two horses which they were tying when, hearing a noise, I went out and accosted them mildly, being alone and unarmed, represented to them that it was grievous to see my horses taken before my face, to which Armstrong answered that he had ordered them to be taken and if any person said a word he would take his heart out, and at the same time told his companions to examine the house for a saddle and take it also, as likewise any firearms they might find, and not finding any firearms, they took my saddle and bridle, a great coat, a yard and a half of cloth and a handkerchief, from whence they went to the house  of Stephan de Alva, where finding nothing that suited them but one gun, they took that and went away, uttering two thousand bravados, Armstrong saying that it was he who commanded at Cole's Creek and he expected in a fortnight to have men to take to the fort.


(Shew!  Talk about a run-on sentence!)  continued...


From thence they came to the house of James Cable and finding only his wife at home, they ransacked the house and finding nothing that suited them but a rifle, two blankets and a saddle and bridle, they took these articles and went away, swearing they would have Cable's life.  It is my opinion that if Your Excellency should not take some effective means, Armstrong will soon have troops strong enough to ruin all the settlers on this creek.


I should have waited on Your Excellency in person but at present am somewhat lame, etc.  God Preserve you Many years.


Cole's Creek August 10, 1786.  Signed, Manuel Texada.  To His Excellency, Don Carlos de Grand-Pre.